Luminous blue compact galaxies: probes of galaxy assembly
Newton, Cassidy Louann
Doctor of Philosophy
The life cycles of galaxies over cosmic time is yet to be fully understood. How did galaxies evolve from their formative stages to the structures we observe today? This dissertation details the identification and analysis of a sample of Luminous Blue Compact Galaxies (LBCGs), a class of galaxy in the local (z < 0.05) universe exhibiting blue colors, high surface brightness, and high star formation rates. These systems appear to be very similar in their global properties to the early evolutionary phases of most galaxies, however their locality permits detailed investigation over a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum in contrast to the smaller angular sizes and extreme faintness of distant galaxies. We use a combination of optical, ultraviolet, and infrared data to investigate a sample of LBCGs utilizing space and ground-based data.